David Murray, a goalkeeper for the West Indies cricket team in the 1970s and 1980s, has died aged 72, the West Indies cricket team said on Saturday.
The Barbados cricketer, who made his international debut in 1973, played 19 Tests, 10 one-day internationals and 114 first-class matches, according to Cricket West Indies. In the 80’s he was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the game.
However, Murray’s legacy was tainted by his decision to take part in the 1983 ‘Rebel Tour’ in South Africa. Murray, along with several other West Indies cricket greats, was paid to travel to the apartheid country to play against the South African team despite being banned from international competition by cricket’s global governing body, the International Cricket Council. .
The governing board of the West Indies cricket team has issued a lifetime ban for a trip to South Africa. Murray’s decision ostracized him and his team-mates from the world of cricket and humiliated them in their Caribbean country, where they were seen as betrayals.
In the years following the tour, Murray and his family risked deportation from Australia, where his wife gave birth to their young daughter, for his role on the Rebellion tour. They’re also not welcome in the Caribbean, he told CNN in 2013.
“They didn’t want me back,” Murray said. “Politics got involved.”
In a statement of condolences, CWI President Ricky Skerritt addressed Murray’s legacy but made no mention of the ban or the ensuing controversy surrounding Murray’s career.
“He will be remembered as part of the great West Indies team that dominated world cricket for over a decade,” Skerritt said. “David is a gifted keeper and a stylish mid-level batsman. He loves cricket and plays it with a smile on his face.”
Murray is also part of a family legacy of cricket greatness. The son of legendary West Indies batsman Sir Everton Wickes, Murray’s son Ricky Hoyt also became a successful cricketer, representing Barbados and the West Indies, according to Cricket West Indies. The “A” team of the Islands played goalie and batsman.
“On behalf of the West Indies cricket team, I offer my sincere condolences to Ricky and the rest of David’s family and friends,” Skerritt said in a statement.